ALL-DISTRICT FOOTBALL TEAM PACKED WITH CITY KIDS

In their return to Class 6A this year, the SaberCats ran the table in District 31-6A, beating all three city rivals en route to an eventual 9-2 finish. So it’s no surprise that Vela snared a healthy portion of the spoils when it came to the annual all-district football team.

Quarterback Nate Garcia, who compiled 1,809 yards passing and 803 rushing, was the 31-6A MVP after a stellar junior season, while sophomore Christian Flores (984 yards rushing, 11 TD) was named the Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Senior Robert Guerra, who punched for 1,179 yards and 20 scores in just five games, was first team all-district, as was senior receiver Marcos Santos, who hauled in 43 passes in 2016. Coach Michael Salinas capped his fifth season at the helm with the Coach of the Year honor while linemen Joey Carreon and Caleb Luna, plus junior slot man Brandon Guzman, were also first offensive selections.

With a resounding comeback season that saw them win seven games and make the playoffs for the first time in five years, the Bobcats of Edinburg also had some representation on the squad. Nathan Marez, who bulled past the 1,000-yard mark, was Offensive Player of the Year while on the first unit were linebacker Edgar Guerrero and safety Dantony Alvarez; all three are seniors.

Econ also posted a 7-win slate and a postseason berth, and the Jags earned their share of awards, including a quartet of defenders on first team from a unit that was one of the best in the league. Up front, Fabian Castillo and Boxer Gomez made it, along with linebacker Fernando Chila and DB Pete Rodriguez. Offensively, halfback Roman Flores was a first-teamer after a strong late-season finish, while teammates Allen Arredondo, split end Bony Rios, and tight end Tristan Barrera also were honored. Hugo Velasquez, hustling lineman, was also first squad, and junior Pete Segura made it as a return man.

Not be denied, North – the fourth playoff team from in town after a clean sweep for Edinburg over its Tri-Cities rivals in 31-6A – had some winners. First team picks included OL Gaston Cortina, slot man Justin Guerra, DL Sebastian Bulos, and linebacker Isaiah Valdez, while DT Julius Jimenez was the district’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a junior. Azael de Leon, a dual-purpose booter, was first team kicker.